Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Outfest has announced the lineup of feature films for the 2023 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival, Presented by IMDb, as well as the recipient of this year’s Fusion Achievement Award. Receiving the award this year is filmmaker Elegance Bratton, an Outfest alum and director of the Golden Globe-nominated film The Inspection and the 2019 documentary Pier Kids.

Bratton will be presented with the award at the opening night gala of the 10-day in-person and virtual festival on March 24th in Los Angeles. Notable past recipients of the Fusion Achievement Award include actress Stephanie Beatriz, actress and screenwriter Michaela Coel, film director Rose Troche, actor Wilson Cruz, and Blackhouse founder Brickson Diamond.

“Outfest Fusion is honoring queer, trans, and nonbinary artists of color who are not waiting to be invited to the creative table,” said Outfest Artist Development Director Martine McDonald.  “These filmmakers are forging a path towards narrative change that moves beyond inclusion and toward leadership and abundance.”

This year’s festival begins March 24th and runs through April 2nd, in-person and online, with 10 days of screenings, free community workshops, and networking events. Attendees this year will be able to purchase the brand new All-Access Pass, providing fans with “the ultimate festival experiences” as they are given access to attend all galas, screenings, workshops, and special events.

This year’s feature film lineup includes:

Finding Her Beat (dir. Dawn Mikkelson, Keri Pickett | USA, Japan | Los Angeles premiere)

Follow The Protocol (dir. Fábio Leal | Brazil)

Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn (dir. Timothy Harris | USA | North American premiere)

Little Richard: I Am Everything (dir. Lisa Cortés | USA)

Soft (dir. Joseph Amenta | Canada | United States premiere)

Soy Niño (dir. Lorena Zilleruelo | France, Chile | Los Angeles premiere)

Summer With Hope (dir. Sadaf Foroughi | Canada, Iran)

The Harvest (dir. Caylee So | USA | Los Angeles Premiere)

The Stroll (dir. Zackary Drucker, Kristen Lovell | USA | West Coast premiere)

As occurs every year, the in-person events will end with the annual One Minute Movie Contest, centered on the theme “Envisioning Abundance”, in which both novice and veteran filmmakers of color are tasked to “pick up their cameras or their phones, and tell their story of queer joy in 60 seconds or less.” Entries will then be screened at the Outfest Fusion Finale on April 1st and winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to screen at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival in July.


Now in its 20th year, the Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Film Festival curates and exhibits films and other cultural and creative expressions from QTBIPOC creators that range from seasoned vets to exciting new voices. Founded in 2004 amongst a circle of community organizers and Outfest Board Members, the Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival continues to respond to the need for more inclusive spaces where storytellers and filmmakers of color could receive the opportunities and the visibility they struggle to find for themselves and their work. Diverse LGBTQ+ audiences, from regional to international, were also finding a lack of inclusive spaces and celebrations that featured expertly curated and exhibited films, stories, and art that reflected the unique lives of themselves. To date, Outfest Fusion has showcased over 10,000 works to nearly 250k audiences and impacted over 2500 community members and industry career climbers with its Fusion workshops and events.

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Juan Ayala

Juan Ayala is a New York City-based actor, entertainment journalist, podcast producer & host. He has written for MediaVillage.com since 2017 under his column ‘Multicultural TV’, providing commentary on content geared toward young and diverse audiences, as well as the Latine and LGBTQ+ communities. As an actor, he has appeared in various theatrical productions in his home state of Connecticut, and co-starred on multiple television series including NBC’s Blindspot and ABC’s For Life. In May 2020, he launched his first podcast, ‘Actors With Issues’, which features interviews with actors working in television, film and Broadway, sharing their experiences and how they’ve overcome obstacles and issues that actors commonly face, from lack of representation and diversity to navigating mental health. The following year, he launched a new podcast with MediaVillage.com, to accompany his column, titled ‘Multicultural TV Talk’ which spotlights young and diverse talent from entertainment. Juan is also the co-host for Latin Media Group’s Latin Babbler Show, which showcases Latin excellence and culture. He also hosts a monthly spin-off show called LatinArte, where he interviews rising Latin voices in entertainment, highlighting their work, culture and positive impact on the community. You can follow Juan on Instagram @juanayalaofficial for all the latest in his acting, writing and podcasting endeavors.